The attitude is dog positive for pets in Seattle, but it’s a dog rugged attitude as well. Seattle styles itself to be about the great outdoors and every other downtown barista and polar fleece vendor will make it very clear that his or her real life begins on Mt. Rainier, generally around 13,00 ft. Dogs, however, are trotting about everywhere, especially between 6 and 8 a.m. and 5 and 7 p.m., indicating that every other person in Seattle has a job and a dog… well almost. And dogs can trot all over Mt. Ranier too, which I suppose Raja will want to do next time he’s out there just to bracket this blog post. (Remember when we were complaining that dogs couldn’t go to Muir Woods in Northern California? The only stipulation for Mt Ranier is that dogs need to be on a 6 foot lead. And this may seem restrictive, but not when you think about the native population of wolves, bears and cougars in Washington State’s wild lands.)
For the downtown tourist, Seattle tourism offers a waterfront esplanade of gift shops, fish markets, and restaurants with evocative views of the Puget Sound- a fascinating coastal resource for the Seattle area. Stroll your doggy throughout. A free underground train links much of the downtown area and connects to other train lines to further points. Seattle’s architecture is pretty cool… notice the walrus bosses on a downtown apartment building. (Your dog may not care about this either way.) Raja found a touristical shop he loved- but he’s obsessed with stuffed animals. The plan of the downtown coastal vendor promenade is to serve both residents and tourists alike, although the recession has the area unraveling a little. Go there and buy something, OK? Also visit the International District- which is about Asia in the Pacific Northwest. Remember that the coastal northwest was settled with Asian residents and the cultural expression is very different from that of NYC’s Chinatown.
One retail place we liked was the EMS flagship store with its own mountain bike trail and mock Himalayan trekking paths to try hiking boots. What we didn’t like was the restrictive and somewhat prissy “Only Service Animals” sign on the door. C’mon, you’re pitching a wilderness lifestyle here and nobody brings a badly behaved dog shopping. It just does not happen because it’s not practical. But…. naturally we ignored the signage and everything went just fine for Raja.
Happy travels, happy trekking, happy Pacific Northwest!